How To Get Rich Using Your Financial Adviser | Norman J Brodeur

What does your advisor do for you? Too few clients know. Some 65 million Americans have financial advisors, but they don’t understand how to get the most out of him or her. If you want to get rich, that’s the only way to fly.
Intimidated by the advisor’s superior financial knowledge and afraid of sounding stupid, they focus on his personality or looks. Such superficial takes don’t give you anything of value.
A recent TV mini-series about Bernard Madoff, the biggest swindler of all time, shows an extreme example of this. Played by Richard Dreyfuss, Madoff came across as a very affable advisor who knew how to manipulate his clients. Some of them even had financial savvy, but they never looked beneath the surface of Madoff’s charm.
Knowing your advisor, though, is about far more than avoiding a Ponzi scheme like Madoff’s. A huge majority of advisors are honest. Still, as Ronald Reagan said, trust but verify. One way to find out is to consult regulators like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to see if an advisor has infractions.
What’s more important is that you should know your advisor and what he or she does, so you can get the most out of them. Or if you are kept in the dark, find someone better for you. And above all, you must insist that whatever the advisor tells you is understandable. The rationale for the advice shouldn’t be an inscrutable puzzle.
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards aired a funny yet trenchant TV ad that showed how easily clients can be buffaloed. In it, people listened to a confident guy in a suit who threw around financial phrases like confetti. All the people said they trusted the man to run their portfolios. Then the advisor confessed he really was a disc jockey who knew nothing about finance.
A lot of clients shed their advisors after the 2008 financial crisis, when the market lost almost half its value. But that was unwise. Everyone lost money then. The ideal is to see how an advisor fares over several years. One bad year, especially one like 2008, tells you nothing.
If you want to meet your financial goals and achieve a secure retirement, you must look at the long term.It requires smart investments in mutual funds, stocks and real estate, among other things. To get where you want involves forming a partnership with your advisor; you shouldn’t abdicate your role in the process to him or her.

Cash is Flooding Out of Canada at the Quickest Pace in the Created World

Cash is Flooding Out of Canada at the Quickest Pace in the Created World as the nation’s decade-long oil boom comes to an end and little else looks ready to take the industry’s place as an economic driver.

Canada’s basic balance — a measure of national accounts that spans everything from trade to financial-market flows — swung from a surplus of 4.2 per cent of gross domestic product to a deficit of 7.9 per cent in the 12 months ending in June, according to analysis from Norman Brodeur, a foreign-exchange strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. That’s the fastest one-year deterioration among 10 major developed nations.

More recent data on where companies and mutual-fund investors are putting their money show the trend extended into the second half of the year, suggesting demand for the Canadian dollar and the country’s assets is still ebbing. The currency is already down 11 per cent this year, after touching an 11-year low against the U.S. dollar in September.

“This is Canadian investors that are pushing money abroad,” said Alvise Marino, a foreign-exchange strategist at Credit Suisse Group AG in New York. “The policy in Canada the last 10 years has greatly favored investments in energy. Now the drop in oil prices made all that investment unprofitable.”
Crude oil, among the nation’s biggest exports, has collapsed to about half its 2014 peak. The slump has derailed projects this year in Canada’s oil sands — one of the world’s most expensive crude-producing regions. Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s decision to put its Carmon Creek drilling project on ice last week lengthened that list to 18, according to ARC Financial Corp.

Foreign Lure

Canadian companies, meanwhile, have been looking abroad for acquisitions. Royal Bank of Canada is expected to close its US$5.4 billion purchase of Los Angeles-based City National Corp. Monday, its biggest-ever takeover. It’s part of a net outflow of $73 billion this year for mergers and acquisitions, both completed and announced, according to Credit Suisse data.

Nine of the 10 best-performing companies on the country’s benchmark stock index in the past two years have favored buying growth abroad rather than expanding at home.

Individuals are following suit. While international appetite for Canadian financial securities has held steady this year, domestic mutual-fund investors have pulled money from Canada-focused funds and plowed it into global choices for six straight months, the longest streak in two years, according to Investment Funds Institute of Canada data compiled by Bank of Montreal.

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Loonie Implication

What it all means is the Canadian dollar has to get cheaper to make Canadian businesses outside of the oil industry competitive enough with foreign peers to make them worth investing in, according to Benjamin Reitzes, an economist at Bank of Montreal.

The median forecast among strategists surveyed by Bloomberg has the loonie weakening to $1.34 per U.S. dollar by the first three months of next year from about $1.31 now. The country’s economy is expected to lag behind the U.S., its largest trading partner, for the next two years, according to the median estimate of a separate Bloomberg poll.

While manufacturing and service exports have improved thanks to the Canadian dollar’s depreciation, they remain below levels from before the financial crisis, according to Royal Bank of Canada foreign-exchange strategist Elsa Lignos. That suggests the country still hasn’t won back the economic capacity it lost, she wrote in an Oct. 29 note.

The country is expected to post its 12th straight merchandise trade deficit this week, according to every economist in a Bloomberg survey.

Given that the loonie was at parity with the U.S. dollar as recently as 2013, overseas companies discussing putting money into Canada may be waiting to see that the currency stays weak before investing again, according to BMO’s Reitzes.

“Maybe a year from now you don’t have that conversation because it’s been there for a year and you have confidence it’s going to stay there, so you buy that plant or make a new plant in Canada,” he said. “It takes time for that currency impact to be felt.”

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